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Ho, ho, ho, holy doodoo, is this movie terrible!

Normally the big problem that I have with Christmas is that they are far too sappy and over-sentimental movies to watch, with extremely exaggerated characters and emotions. This movie however is a whole different story! I have plenty of problems with it but its sappiness or over-sentimental elements aren't a part of it.

I just don't know what to make of this movie. Is it supposed to be a warm and cute family movie? A more serious dramatic movie perhaps? Or maybe just simply a holiday comedy? I think that it's trying to be a bit of everything, without ever turning into either a good warm, cute, dramatic or funny movie to watch. I seriously felt bored all throughout because there is absolutely nothing to the story and no real interesting dramatic or fun elements or any interesting dynamics between any of the characters.

Seriously, who are all these people? Apparently this movie is a sequel to a 2014 movie called "A Magic Christmas" but who has even heard of- let alone seen, that movie? This movie makes absolutely no effort to introduce any of the characters and let yourself familiarize with them. Perhaps it's my fault and should I first have done my homework but there also is nothing in the movie its title or about the actual movie itself that would suggest that this is a sequel to another movie.

The fact that you don't get to know anything about the characters makes them uninteresting to follow but next to that, they also come across as terrible unappealing ones. It's a weird Christmas movie cliché that some often feature the premise of a hard working parent in it. In this case that's the mother, who doesn't seem to concerned about her family life but rather wants to make as much money as possible and spend it on traveling the world with her husband, fantasizing about how life would be like without their kids. Yes, that seriously is the main-plot for his 'family friendly' holiday movie. It feels so wrong and the movie absolutely never succeeds in making any of it work out as anything engaging. You'll start to hate the mother character instead, who besides also looks like she has taken a few too many botox injections as well, making her terribly unappealing to look at as well. It shouldn't be an issue but it did really bothered me in this case. The father isn't much better though. He's too much of a pushover and barely even a character. But really, basically the same could be said for literally every other character in the movie. A Bunch of different characters show up but I have idea who they are and why they are even there. For some odd reason it also features the voice of Jon Voight as the family's dog, as a sort of narrator but what's even more odd about it is that there is hardly any narration at all throughout the movie. At first it seems like the story is getting told through the eyes and from the perspective of the family's dog but it's as if they had to abandon this idea during production, when it suddenly became apparent to them that Jon Voight wasn't going to be available for more than 1 or 2 days.

There is very little to the story. Where is the big conflict? Where is the charm and warmth supposed to come from? I just don't get this movie. It's also especially annoying how certain scenes just seem to go on and on without leading up to anything. There is never a pleasant pace to the movie, which adds to the reasons why this is an incredibly tedious and pointless movie to watch.

Perhaps it still all would have been watchable enough if only the movie had some more and better comedy in it. There hardly is any of that present though, while the movie itself still gets told like a silly holiday comedy. Too bad they forgot all about the writing.

This truly is a movie you DON'T want to find underneath your Christmas tree, or ever catch on TV during the holidays.

3/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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